IVY + BEAN
IVY + BEAN
written by annie barrows + illustrated by sophie blackall
For Clio, of course, but also for Claire, Keith, Maddy, Sam, Vincenzo, Melissa, Quinn,
Chephren (and Jennifer Ennifer), Noah, Jonathan, Raejean, Dominic, Tanisha, Veronica,
Christopher, Gabi, Xenia, Paul, and Amber —A. B.
For Olive and Eggy —S. B.
First paperback edition published in 2007 by Chronicle Books LLC.
Text © 2006 by Annie Barrows.
Illustrations © 2006 by Sophie Blackall.
All rights reserved.
The illustrations in this book were rendered in Chinese ink.
The Library of Congress has catalogued the hardcover edition as follows:
Ivy and Bean / by Annie Barrows ; illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Summary: When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected
support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.
[1. Friendship—Fiction. 2. Neighbors—Fiction.] I. Blackall, Sophie, ill. II. Title.
Chronicle Books LLC
680 Second Street, San Francisco, California 94107
BEAN HATCHES A PLAN
THE GHOST OF PANCAKE COURT
BEAN MEETS IVY
IVY HATCHES A PLAN
Before Bean met Ivy, she didn’t like her. Bean’s mother was always saying that Bean should try
playing with the new girl across the street. But Bean didn’t want to.
“She’s seven years old, just like you,” said her mother. “And she seems like such a nice girl.
You could be friends.”
“I already have friends,” said Bean. And that was true. Bean did have a lot of friends. But,
really, she didn’t want to play with Ivy because her mother was right—Ivy did seem like such a
nice girl. Even from across the street she looked nice. But nice, Bean knew, is another word for
Ivy sat nicely on her front steps. Bean zipped around her yard and yelled. Ivy had long, curly
red hair pushed back with a sparkly headband. Bean’s hair was black, and it only came to her
chin because it got tangled if it was any longer. When Bean put on a headband, it fell off. Ivy
wore a dress every day. Bean wore a dress when her mother made her. Ivy was always reading
a big book. Bean never read big books. Reading made her jumpy.
Bean was sure that Ivy never stomped in puddles. She was sure that Ivy never smashed rocks
to find gold. She was sure that Ivy had never once in her whole life climbed a tree and fallen
out. Bean got bored just looking at her.
So when her mother said she should play with Ivy, Bean just shook her head. “No thanks,”
“You could give it a try. You might like her,” said Bean’s mom.
“All aboard! Next train for Boring is leaving now!” yelled Bean.
Her mother frowned. “That’s not very nice, Bean.”
“I was nice. I said no thanks,” said Bean. “I just don’t want to. Okay?”
“Okay, okay.” Her mother sighed. “Have it your way.”
So for weeks and weeks, Bean didn’t play with Ivy. But one day something happened that
changed her mind.
BEAN HATCHES A PLAN
It all began because Bean was playing a trick on her older sister.
Bean’s older sister was named Nancy. She was eleven. Nancy thought Bean was a pain and a
pest. Bean thought Nancy was a booger-head. Ever since she turned eleven, Nancy had been
acting like she was Bean’s mother. She ordered Bean around in a grown-up voice: “Comb your
hair.” “No more pretzels.” “Brush your teeth.” “Say please.”
Bean’s mother said that Nancy was going through a stage. Bean knew what that meant. That
meant Nancy was bossy. Bean also knew that nobody likes bossy kids, so she was trying to help
Nancy be done with her stage. Here’s how she helped: She bugged Nancy until Nancy freaked
out. Bean thought this was pretty helpful.
The afternoon that Bean got her great idea, she was shopping with her mom and Nancy.
Actually, Bean was being dragged along by her mom and Nancy. Bean hated shopping. Nancy
loved, loved, loved it.
Nancy was trying on skirts. Lots of skirts. She put on a purple skirt. She looked at her front in
the mirror. Then she turned to the side. Then she turned around and tried to look at her behind.
“Looks good,” said Bean. “Let’s go.”
“Be patient just a little longer, Bean,” said Bean’s mother. “I think it’s cute, honey,” she said
Nancy looked in the mirror some more. “Do you think the pockets are dumb?”
“I like the pockets,” said Bean’s mom.
“Get it, get it, get it!” moaned Bean. She had never been so bored in her entire life. She was
so bored she fell on the floor. Then she took a tiny peek up at the lady in the dressing room next
“Get up, Bean!” said her mother. “This minute.”
Bean got up and sat on the triangle seat again. She waited. Nancy looked at herself.
“I kind of like it,” Nancy said. “But it costs forty dollars. That’s all my money. I could get
two shirts for forty dollars.”
“Don’t be a tightwad,” said Bean. She had just learned that word. It meant someone who
didn’t like to spend money.
“Don’t call your sister a tightwad,” said Bean’s mom.
Bean saw Nancy’s eyes looking at her in the mirror. “Tightwad,” Bean mouthed without any
sound. Nancy’s eyes got narrow, and so quick that their mother didn’t see, she stuck out her
tongue. Then Nancy turned to their mother and said, “I think the skirt costs too much, Mom. I
think I’d rather try on some tops.”
Bean knew then that Nancy was being slow on purpose. Just to drive her crazy.
Bean thought about kicking her in the shin. But then she got the idea. It was a great idea. It
was also a helpful idea, one that would teach Nancy not to be such a tightwad. And best of all,
her idea would make Nancy freak out. “You’ll be sorry,” Bean mouthed to Nancy.
THE GHOST OF PANCAKE COURT
Bean was hiding inside a big, round bush in her front yard. The bush was right next to the
sidewalk, and it was very scratchy and sticky inside, but Bean needed to be in the bush for her
plan to work. Here’s how Bean’s plan went: She took a $20 bill out of Nancy’s purse and taped
a long thread to it. She put the $20 bill on the sidewalk. Then she held on to the other end of the
thread and climbed into the bush. Nancy would be coming home from school soon. She would
see the money on the sidewalk. She would bend down to pick it up. Bean would quickly pull the
money away. And then Nancy would freak out. Bean could hardly wait.
There was only one problem. Nancy didn’t come. Bean sat inside the bush for a long time. A
branch poked her arm. Leaves fell down her shirt. She itched. She waited. Nothing happened. It
was very quiet. Bean was hardly ever this quiet for this long. Because there was nothing else to
do, she looked at the house across the street. Really, it wasn’t across the street. It was around
the street. Bean loved her street. The first reason was its name: Pancake Court. The second
reason was that it ended in a big circle right in front of Bean’s house. Her dad called it a cul-desac. Bean called it cool. If Bean started riding her bicycle at the end of the block and pedaled
really, really hard, she could whiz around the circle, tilting low over the sidewalk like a
Slam! Bean looked up. She saw Ivy come out onto her front porch and plop down on the top
step. Bean squinted at her. Ivy looked strange. She wasn’t wearing a dress today. She was
wearing a black bathrobe with lots of little pieces of paper stuck to it. Weird, thought Bean. She
squinted some more. Instead of a big book, Ivy was carrying a stick, painted gold. Bean made a
face. What a goony costume, she thought. What a dork.
Ivy sat. She didn’t do anything. She just sat there all by herself. That was another strange
thing about Ivy. She didn’t mind being alone. She never played with anyone.
Bean played with everyone. Big kids, little kids, all the kids in the neighborhood played with
Bean. Even crummy Matt—who was so crummy he threw other kids’ toys into the road—
wanted to play with Bean.
She took care of the little kids. When they fell down and got blood all over their knees, Bean
would take them home to get Band-Aids. The big kids let her play with them because she had
good ideas, like seeing how many backyards they could cross without touching the ground. Bean
loved big groups of kids playing big games, like pirates or hide-and-seek.
Sometimes Bean wished she were an orphan so she could live in an orphanage with a
hundred other kids. Of course, she didn’t tell her mother and father that.
Bean watched Ivy, alone on her front porch. Wasn’t she lonely? Now Ivy was muttering
something that Bean couldn’t hear. And then she began to wave the stick in the air. Bean
couldn’t stand it anymore.
“What the heck are you doing?” yelled Bean from inside her bush.
Ivy looked all around. Bean forgot that Ivy couldn’t see her. “What’s with the stick?” she
Ivy’s eyes got big. “Who’s there?” she said. “Are you a ghost?”
A ghost! What a great idea! Bean made her voice scratchy and spooky. “Yessss,” she
howled. “I am the ghost of Mr. Killop. I lived in your house before. And I died there, too.”
Mr. Killop had actually moved to Ohio, but Bean thought it was more interesting to say he
had died. “I’ve come to haunt you! Tonight when you’re sleeping, I’ll wrap my icy fingers
around your neck!”
“Bean! What are you yelling about?”
Oops. It was Nancy.
BEAN MEETS IVY
Bean peeked out between leaves. Nancy hadn’t seen the $20 bill. She was standing on it. Hmm,
thought Bean. Her plan was a bust, but if she kept on being a ghost, maybe she could scare
Nancy a little. “I’m going to wrap my fingers around your neck, too,” she howled in her spooky
voice. “And I’m going to spit in your ear!”
“No, you’re not,” said Nancy. She didn’t sound scared. She reached into the bush and yanked
Bean out. “Stop yelling.” That’s when she saw the $20 bill. “Hey!” she said. “Where did you
get the money? You don’t have twenty dollars.” Then she saw the string. “I see what you’re
doing, burp face! I bet this is my money, too!” Then she picked up the bill and looked at it. “You
stole my money! I’m telling Mom!” She began to pull Bean toward the front door.
Uh-oh, thought Bean. None of her ideas were working out today. Now she had two choices.
She could go inside with Nancy and face Mom. Or she could run.
So Bean fell over on the ground and started to wail. “My ankle! Ow-wow-wow! My ankle’s
killing me! It’s sprained!” She held her ankle.
Nancy frowned. “You didn’t sprain your ankle, you faker!” she said, but she bent down to
take a look.
That was all Bean needed. She stood up and ran. She ran out of her yard and around Pancake
Court until she found herself in front of Ivy’s house.
“ Oooooh! You’re in trouble now, Bernice Blue!” yelled Nancy. “I’m going to tell Mom!”
Bernice was Bean’s real name. People used it only when they were yelling at her.
Bean couldn’t help it. She just had to stick her tongue out and say, “Ppppppthbt!” Then she
just had to turn around and wiggle her behind at Nancy.
“That’s it!” Nancy yelled. “I’m getting Mom!” She stormed into the house.
For a minute, Bean felt happy. She loved making Nancy mad. But when Nancy was gone,
Bean began to worry. Mom hated it when she did more than one bad thing at a time. Bean
counted: taking the money, lying about her ankle, leaving the yard without asking, and wiggling
her behind at Nancy. Four things. Five if you counted pretending to be a ghost. Bean was going
to be in big trouble. How big? No dessert, for sure. No videos for a week, maybe. But it could
be even worse. Her mom might send her to her room for the rest of the day. Bean hated that.
Bean looked up. She had forgotten all about Ivy. Ivy was still sitting on her porch. She had
been watching the whole time. She knew that the ghost of Mr. Killop was really Bean inside the
bush. Bean expected her to be mad. But she didn’t look mad. She looked excited. “Hide,” she
Hmm, thought Bean. Maybe Boring Ivy was right. If her mom couldn’t find her, she couldn’t
send her to her room. If she stayed out until dark, her parents would stop being mad and start
being worried. Her mom might say, “Oh, my poor little Bean. My poor little baby!” Then they’d
be so happy to see her when she came limping home that they probably wouldn’t punish her at
all. They might even let her have seconds on dessert.
That settled it.
“Okay,” she said to Ivy. “Where?”
Ivy came down the stairs and slipped behind a bush growing against her house. Bean
followed her and crouched down under the wide leaves.
“No, get up. This is just the beginning,” said Ivy. “I’m going to take you to a secret spot.”
“This isn’t it?” asked Bean. The bush looked pretty good to her.
“No. This is the passageway.” Ivy pressed her back against the house and edged along. Bean
edged along, too, the wall scraping her back. They turned a corner and edged some more. Ivy’s
house was big.
“Halt!” said Ivy. Bean halted. “Now,” said Ivy, “close your eyes, and I’ll take you to the
“What? How come I have to close my eyes?”
“Because it’s a secret,” said Ivy. “Duh.”
Bean couldn’t argue with that. Ivy looked like a wimp, but she didn’t talk like one. Bean
closed her eyes. She felt Ivy take her by the elbow, and together they went down some steps. A
door opened. More steps. Cool, damp air blew in Bean’s face. Then they went up some steps.
Another door opened. They were outside again. Ivy was taking Bean through some tall grass.
“Shhh!” said Ivy suddenly. Bean froze. “Crouch down!” said Ivy. Bean crouched. There was a
silence. “Okay, you can get up now.”
“What happened?” asked Bean.
“Spies,” said Ivy.
Bean figured Ivy was probably making that up.
“Now you can open your eyes,” Ivy said.
IVY HATCHES A PLAN
Bean opened her eyes. They were in a corner of Ivy’s backyard. There was a big rock on one
side and a small tree on the other. Between them was a perfectly round puddle. “This is the
secret spot?” asked Bean. She had expected something more secret looking. Like a cave.
“Yes. They’ll never find you here,” said Ivy. “You can stay for as long as you want. I’ll bring
“But I only need to stay until dinnertime,” Bean said.
Ivy looked disappointed. “I thought you wanted to run away.”
“I do. But only till dinner.”
Bean felt bad about not staying. “Wouldn’t you get in trouble if your parents found out I was
living here?” she asked.
“They don’t come out here much,” Ivy said. “My mom is afraid of ticks.”
“You probably don’t ever get in trouble anyway,” said Bean, feeling glum. “I’m always in
“I do too get in trouble,” said Ivy.
“No, you don’t,” Bean said. “You read books all the time. You can’t get in trouble for
Ivy said, “I will get in trouble— really huge trouble—if I do what I want to do. What I plan
Bean waited. “Well? What do you plan to do?”
Ivy looked all around before she whispered, “Spells. Magic. Potions.”
“Really? You mean like a witch?”
“Yes. Well. Not yet. But I’m going to be a witch,” said Ivy. Her eyes were glowing. “I’m